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Ahmadinejad: I’ll Negotiate When You Pull the Gun Away From My Face

Posted on Feb 10, 2013
Mark Rain (CC-BY)

The Iranian president has offered to negotiate personally with the United States over his country’s nuclear program—with one proviso.

“You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

It’s an admission that the sanctions imposed on the country, pushed by the Obama administration in favor of direct military action, could be working. Although sanctions are a form of collective punishment that can also backfire.

The Guardian points out that this could all be a power play for Ahmadinejad where internal Iranian politics are concerned:

Ahmadinejad is in his final months of his term of office and his followers are weakened by a feud with the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment. His latest statement, which implies that he is an equal player with Khamenei in foreign policy matters, may simply be an attempt to appear as though he is still politically relevant.

“You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled a Western-backed monarch and ushered in the Islamic Republic.

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—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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